Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

Phase 1a

PQQ's should be sent via email to by no later than 14:00 on Thursday 26 July 2018.

The file should be named as follows:
‘Practice Name_PQQ.pdf’

Entries received after the deadline will not be accepted.


PQQ .doc PQQ Guide .pdf

PQQ.doc updated on 10 July 2018

Animal Centres of the Future

Open Design Competition


Modular construction should be considered in the design of the new centre; offering a degree of flexibility to the accommodation, meaning that the design can be installed and utilised on any future sites and locations. The society is looking at moving away from traditional construction methods to reduce costs and construction time.

The successful team is to help the Society build for now and into the future.

Aims & Objectives

  • The design should have animal welfare at its heart.
  • Have a degree of flexibility and modularity.
  • Offer an element of visitor experience.
  • Be sympathetic to a rural landscape, yet its proposed materials should be functional and durable.
  • Make as much use of natural light, outdoor space and its connection with the surrounding facilities and environment.
  • Consider modern methods of construction to reduce onsite construction time and delivery of the facilities.
  • Be designed and completed in accordance with the RSPCAs' licensing conditions.
  • The build should display and show off the RSPCA brand and branding.


  • Materials and methods of construction should be selected to deliver aesthetic excellence and sustainability.
  • Reduce the reliance on future maintenance costs.
  • To reduce construction timeframes.
  • Be in accordance with the RSPCA licensing conditions.
  • Be robust and being able to withstand the rigours of animal welfare.


  • The building should be sustainable in real terms, both environmentally and financially.
  • Designs should seek to minimise operating costs of the building in use [including staff resources].
  • The building should have a minimal carbon footprint.
  • Applicants should demonstrate in the cost information submitted what proportion of the budget will be allocated to achieving the above measures that are central to the project.


The building must be fully accessible to all and should comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. Every aspect of the design must be developed with full regard to the varying needs of the building’s user.

Internal Layout

Internally, the building should provide the following functional elements:

Main Building

Entrance A secure but welcoming entrance, which should be obvious to visitors arriving by whatever means and offering shelter from the elements.
Reception Area Principal arrival point for all visitors. A clear, functional orientation space from which visitors will be readily addressed and their requirements serviced.

Small retail space.

Meet and Greet Two small rooms where 5 people can sit comfortably with a dog.
Meeting Room / Education Flexible space (with storage cupboard large enough to house chairs and 15 tables) with view of the centre and secure outdoor space This space should be capable of accommodating 30+ people in a lecture style arrangement, ability to be blacked out for presentations with good audio–visual facilities.

A separate entrance from outside would be useful – to make this a self–contained and secure space.

Access to a small kitchen within/attached would also be useful or access to a shared staff kitchen.

Storage should be provided to facilitate the multi–functional nature of its use. Flexibility to separate the spaces into two smaller meeting rooms should be considered.

Access to lavatories should be provided.
Veterinary Suite Accessed via single internal entrance.
Small public waiting area.

Public consultation room.

Triage room for inspecting animals.

Combined examination and preparation room.

X ray room.

Operating theatre with space for 2 operating tables.

Recovery room with capacity for 20 cats and 10 dogs separated.

Cold storage area.

A small food preparation area.

A small area for lab equipment – bloods, microscope etc.

Secure dispensary store.

Changing facilities for vet staff and toilets.
Office/Administration To accommodate 10 members of staff.

Separate access from the staff car parking area and have separate areas for the Animal Centre staff (6) and Inspectorate (4) staff.
Large Meeting Room Desirable to have a separate meeting room for staff use, which would allow up to 20 people seated.
Small Meeting Room For 1:1's and private discussions.
Staff Room A small but comfortable room with chairs and lockers for use by staff preparing for or completing their shifts.

Access to a separate kitchen facility - can be shared with the meeting room facility.
Toilets Potentially accessible from inside and outside with accessible toilet and baby change facilities (Two staff toilets, One number public access toilet).
Storage Secure equipment/vehicle storage areas for 3 vans (VW Caddy or similar).
Bin Store Recycling and bins to service the centre.

For the animal accommodation we require the following facilities. All animal accommodation will need to be built to in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and The RSPCA's licensing conditions; these documents will be made available to applicants who satisfy the requirements of the PQQ as an appendix to this document.


Capacity for 40 kennels with a 72/25 split with 30 standard and 10 large kennels.

Flexibility to increase accommodation to 60 if needed in the future.

Accommodation to be split into smaller sections (max 10).

Whoopsie Away room with sink facilities and storage for faeces buckets/shovels.

Food prep area.
Grooming Room Dog grooming room with ergonomic shower facilities.
Treatment Room Separate treatment room with secure location for scales.
Laundry Room Separate laundry and bedding storage area.
Supervisors Room Kennel Supervisors room for records and drugs storage and PC.
Equipment Storage Storage room for equipment – leads/collars/muzzles/buster collars/crates/dog coats/graspers/shields etc NB will need storage areas in each kennel block.
Dry Store Food Storage requires pallet access.

Covered walkway to main building for staff access.
“Home room” For socialisation/familiarisation with home environment – ideally is within the kennel block.
Staff Toilets Staff toilet facilities (assuming this is located away from the main building).
Exercise Area Outside kennel area with off lead exercise areas (with some shelter for the staff) and on lead walking route away from kennels and not in sight of cattery.

Consideration into disease control and isolation in Kennels is required.


Capacity for 60 cat pods - Flexibility to increase to 80 if needed.

Area to be split into 10 pods each to allow flexibility of use.

Easy public access on level ground with outside walkway covered/landscaped.

Ability to section off areas for non-public access (e.g. for case).
Food Store Dry store for food and litter (big enough for pallet access).
Food Prep Sink facilities x 2 – “dirty” sink for litter trays and “clean” sink for food bowls.

Food prep area.
Laundry Laundry and bedding storage area.
Treatment Room Treatment room with scales.
Storage Storage area for cat baskets, scratching posts etc.
Supervisors Room Cattery Supervisors room for records and drug storage and PC.
Home Room For socialisation/familiarisation with home environment.
Exercise Area Outside cat area to be to be sheltered from the prevailing wind.

Small Animals

Capacity for 20 small animal pens to be used for rabbits, guinea pigs etc.
Overnight Wildlife holding Two rooms with a number of multi-purpose overnight holding pens (e.g. Foxes, badgers).

Training Area/Building

Covered training area that is protected from the elements where training classes can be held to accommodate people and their animals.
Outside Store For storing site equipment and Inspectorate equipment for boats and off-road vehicles.

Small workshop area

Site Layout

The site is located in the North of the UK in a semi-rural location and is comprised of approximately 8 acres. There are existing buildings on the site which will need to be considered in the design phase.

The proposed scheme will need to be adaptable to different sites for future potential development. It is anticipated that the majority of people using the centre will arrive by private car, as such private parking will be required for 25 cars. 1/2 coaches, together with provision of informal overflow parking. Designers are welcome to explore alternative layouts in order to maximise the sites potential but will be expected to make strategic and operational design choices to demonstrate the deliverability of the proposals within the £4.5m project budget. Proposals should include landscaping costs.

Further details on the site will be provided confidentially to teams invited to participate in the design phase following the submission of a compliant PQQ.


The design solution must be capable of being delivered within a project budget [inclusive of design team fees] in the region of £4.5m [+VAT]. This has been identified as the preferred scope of fundraising potential. The design solution [and preferably the design and construction process] must therefore have the potential to inspire potential donors.

The budget includes the cost of the public reception area and admin facilities along with the animal care and accommodation spaces, together with associated immediate infrastructure, site layout and landscape works. The relative proportional split will need to be clearly demonstrated within the refined design proposals to be submitted at Phase 2.

Please be aware that this brief is aspirational, and designs put forward will need to allow for compromise and adaptations to be made as build budgets and operational requirements may differ for each project.

Post Competition Commitment

The society will be looking to take the design concept to detailed design and planning within six months of the design competition.

The RSPCA are seeking an architect led design team approach to be appointed under a single umbrella appointment that can demonstrate great collaborative working and innovative ideas. It is the intention that the preferred supplier will be retained to develop an “RSPCA Design Guide” and work with the RSPCA as their preferred architectural supplier on future projects nationally. Practices entering the competition will need to ensure they have the capacity to deliver national projects simultaneously and evidence of this capability will be required at Phase 2.